Even celebrities have really bad first dates.
After Gayle King got divorced in her late 30s, she was happy to share the details of her experience back in the dating world. Known for being candid, Gayle even appeared on a 2002 episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” to talk about dating after 35 — and opened up even more after the show finished taping. With cameras still rolling, Oprah and Gayle dished on Gayle’s biggest dating flops. Three of Gayle’s potential suitors are unforgettable.
“Scrimp Scampi” Guy
Once, Gayle was set up with a man and agreed to meet him for a lunch date. But instead of going to a restaurant, he offered to prepare a meal himself. “He goes, ‘Oh, I’d love to cook for you. I make a really good scrimp scampi. I’m really good with scrimps,'” Gayle recalls.
She decided not to make room in her schedule for that date. “I think grammar’s important!” Gayle insists. “You’ve at least got to be able to speak well.”
Mr. Million Man March
One of Gayle’s dates was a man who had participated in the Million Man March in 1995, to encourage “unity, atonement and brotherhood.” Three weeks after the event, Gayle and this man met for lunch. “He’s wearing a teal, highly flammable suit and… matching teal shoes,” she says. “That’s not even the worst part. The button that he wore was [huge], that said, ‘I went to the March.’ Three weeks later!” Needless to say, he wasn’t the one for Gayle.
About two years after Gayle’s divorce, she reconnected with an old high school boyfriend that she hadn’t seen in decades. He had read about the breakup of Gayle’s marriage and wanted to see her when he came to New York. Gayle, who lived in Connecticut, agreed to meet up with him, but Oprah gave her friend a strict warning: “She goes, ‘Whatever you do, don’t bring him to your house,'” Gayle says.
Though Gayle had no intention of bringing her old boyfriend to Connecticut, she had such a great time in the city that she ended up inviting him to her home. “We spent the weekend,” Gayle admits. “Oprah calls me Monday morning and goes, ‘What was the name of that guy?… And what’s his last name?'”
Gayle’s heart started beating. She had told Oprah about parts of the weekend, but intentionally left out the part about going to her house. Suddenly, Oprah correctly “guessed” the man’s name. How did she know?
“She goes, ‘Well, ain’t that interesting. The man you didn’t bring to your house has gone to the tabloids… and says that he has spent the weekend with you, that he’s been in your home and that you have an altar to me in your home and that the [rumors] about Gayle and Oprah, he has proof [of]… Now, this is the man you didn’t bring to your house, right?'” Gayle says. “She goes, ‘I told you!'”
“Busted!” Oprah says.
As for Oprah, she’s been with her partner, Stedman Graham, for nearly 30 years. Watch the two offer a rare glimpse into their relationship in this behind-the-scenes clip from one of the final “Oprah Show” tapings.
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